Library Visit 2019 – Woden Town Centre Library

We spent a month in Canberra searching for a suitable caravan and car for our road trip to Queensland. With all that time spent in the nation’s capital and with the city’s large number of library institutions, I’m amazed that I only visited one library here – the Woden Town Centre Library which I used to frequent when I used to live in Canberra many moons ago.

Date and time of visit: Tuesday, 16 July 2019; 1.24pm

Features: The Woden Town Centre Library is a branch of the ACT Libraries and offers traditional and digital library services. Furthermore, it is open 7 days a week! Yes it is open on a Sunday from 12-4pm. Fantastic!

It was winter when I visited the library and as soon as I walked in I noticed a rack of FREE jackets/coats available for people to take. This was an ANU initiative but what a great idea for the library to share this project to help members of the community who may be experiencing homelessness during the cold winter.

Free jackets and coats for members of the community

Now I entered the foyer and whoa and behold I saw a blue disco neon self-check kiosk in the middle of the room! Remember I’ve been here before so I was gobsmacked with how much it had changed since the last time I was here. No doubt more exciting things will happen to this library – the Canberra minister for city services has just announced a project to revamp and upgrade the Woden Library with a new community space on the first floor.

Check out the neon-lit self-check out kiosk!

I was impressed with the way their CD collection had been catalogued. For example, the CD by Andrew Lloyd Webber has the call number of CD LLOY (first 4 letters of the musician’s last name). Simple and ingenious.

I love the way the library’s CD collection had been catalogued

Returning library items to the library wasn’t that intuitive and there was no clear sign or direction as to where I should place them. As I looked further around the foyer, I noticed a computer which the client could use to return their borrowed items. I found this procedure/system a little clunky (PS: I have seen better self-return systems in my future library visits so I could say this was a clunky system). I’m hoping that the Woden Library has upgraded this by now – yes it has and the latest update is: Woden Library has upgraded to an external self-return chute!

Self-return kiosk at the Woden Library at the time of the visit
The children’s area
I like the way the library has positioned the water cooler next to the community notice board.
The doors to the public toilet amenities – the insides were blue-lit

Overall impression: I still like this library (biased I know…) even though I found the service points in the foyer a little bit of a hit and miss. I was quite impressed with the library staff uniforms. This made it easier to distinguish the staff from clients hence easier for clients to find and ask for help when needed.

Library Uniform – I want one!

I can’t believe the first floor was still empty. At the time of my recent visit, this space was being used for silent studies and work by clients using their own laptops and devices. As mentioned above, there is a plan to transform this into a community hub.

The spacious first floor was being used for quiet study and work at the time of my visit
The spacious ground floor showing the library’s collection and public computers

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